MAL cruised into the final of the National Knockout Cup with a dominant, if at times a little sloppy, performance against Southgate at Old Camdenians in Mill Hill
With the pitch still a touch damp on top it came as a slight surprise that Southgate captain Richard Mitchell opted to bat first on winning the toss.
Yoav Lebens was impressive with the new ball, and Mark Landau found plenty of swing, though not quite the right lines initially.
It was Landau who made the early breakthrough, trapping Mitchell LBW plumb in front for 3. The next ball was a fantastic inswinger that nipped back and clipped the top of off stump to dismiss Peretz Schapiro for 0.
Lebens eventually got the wicket his spell deserved, bowling Ray Bean for 7. Morris and the precocious Fink dug in, but found it difficult keep the scoreboard ticking. Morris was to fall for 30 to the slow bowling of Gav Lebens, bowled for a gritty 30. Taitz was bowled by the aggressive Jon Begner for 10, before Gav Lebens bowled Fink for 21.
Ben Chaim and Newman both went for ducks in identical fashion, as Southgate struggled to make any impression on Gav Lebens' slow swingers. Paul Bean was next to go, falling to a fine diving catch by Landau at long-off from Gav Lebens' bowling for 5.
Clive Hart and Norman Bean were just about able to see out the 40 overs, but Southgate's total of 138 was around 100 short of par. Gavriel Lebens finished with great figures of 5-26 from his eight overs.
MAL's reply began fairly spectacularly as Landau and Ryan Pakter took toll on some poor bowling. Pakter was particularly explosive, striking 5 6's and 2 4's in a brutal innings of 49 from 40 balls. Their opening partnership was worth 82 in a little over 11 overs as MAL raced towards their target.
Pakter fell one short of his maiden 50 for the club, skying Ray Bean to wicketkeeper Hart. Jamie Breslaw was next to go, caught at cover off Norman Bean for 0. Yoav Lebens showed his intent from the outset, striking his second ball for a big 6.
Landau fell for 36 from 40 balls, before Matt Plax and Grant Pakter both fell cheaply. Yoav's innings of 39 not out from 16 balls with 3 6's and 3 4's ensured the game would finish early, as MAL wrapped up victory with more than 19 overs to spare.
A win for MAL, but with plenty of areas to improve before the next raft of league games, and a much more clinical performance will be needed for the Cup Final on September 11th